By Mark Weinraub
CHICAGO, July 26 (Reuters) – The condition of the U.S. corn and soybean crops unexpectedly deteriorated in the latest week, with dryness in growing areas west of the Mississippi River stressing crops, the U.S. government said on Monday.
Additionally, spring wheat wilted due to a severe drought in the northern U.S. Plains, with the U.S. Agriculture Department’s (USDA) weekly condition ratings showing that crop was in the worst shape since 1988.
USDA said that good-to-excellent ratings for corn fell by 1 percentage point to 64% in the week ended July 25, largely due to declines in states such as Iowa and North Dakota. The soybean crop was rated 58% good-to-excellent, down 2 percentage points from a week earlier.
The average of analysts’ estimates in a Reuters poll pegged good-to-excellent ratings for corn at 65%. Forecasts ranged from 64% to 66%, with a median of 65%.
The USDA’s good-to-excellent ratings for soybeans had been expected to come in at 60%, with estimates ranging from 59% to 62%. The median soybean estimate also was 60%.
Spring wheat was rated 9% good to excellent, 2 percentage points lower than a week earlier and 1 percentage point below the average of analysts’ forecasts.
All figures in percent:
USDA last week
USDA this week
Winter wheat harvested
Spring wheat condition*
Spring wheat harvested
(Reporting by Mark Weinraub; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and David Gregorio)
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